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Pacific Salmon Treaty

The Pacific Salmon Treaty (PST), signed by Canada and the United States in 1985, provides the framework through which the 2 countries work together to conserve and manage Pacific salmon. Pacific salmon are highly migratory and, over the course of their lifecycle, fish originating in the rivers of one country are often subject to the fisheries of another. A high degree of bilateral cooperation is required to limit the harvest of one country’s salmon by the other and to help ensure conservation.

The Treaty includes a commitment by Canada and the United States to carry out their salmon fisheries and enhancement programs to:

In addition to the broad principles and objectives, Annex IV of the Treaty contains a number of fishing chapters. These chapters are essential to the functioning of the PST and set out the specific conservation and harvest sharing arrangements for stocks and fisheries. Each country is responsible for managing its fisheries, but does so in a way that is consistent with the Treaty.

Pacific Salmon Treaty renewal and current recommendations from the Pacific Salmon Commission

The original fishing chapters in Annex IV (1985) expired in 1992. Between 1992 and 1998, Canada and the U.S. were unable to reach agreement on new fishing arrangements. In 1999, government-to-government negotiations between the 2 countries resulted in successful renewal of long-term fishing arrangements under the PST.

In 2008 and 2018, the Pacific Salmon Commission (PSC) recommended a new 10-year agreements to the Governments of Canada and the United States for the conservation and sharing of Pacific salmon. The product of intense negotiations, the agreements advanced science-based conservation and the sustainable harvest of salmon migrating across the U.S.-Canadian border.

The new fishing regimes contained in Chapters 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6 of Annex IV of the Treaty, as well as 2020 amendments to Chapter 4 (Fraser River) are in force until 2028, with regular PSC review of stock status and regulatory effectiveness throughout that period.

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